Is Kyle Kendrick a Good Fit with the Angels?
After spending the past 8 seasons pitching for the Philadelphia Phillies, Kyle Kendrick, is a free agent for the first time in his career. Kendrick is an available starting pitcher currently residing in the middle tier at his position. The Halos are searching for starting pitching depth for the back end of their rotation, so a guy like Kendrick may be an attractive option to the Angels’ brass.
Kendrick’s market has been slow to develop so far in free agency, and it figures to remain sluggish until the top available arms come off the board. MLB Trade Rumors did suggest earlier this month that Kendrick may be appealing to a team like the Halos, but nothing the Angels have done this offseason has supported this notion.
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Philadelphia was a successful franchise in the early part of Kyle Kendrick’s tenure, and it is safe to say he played a big role in their success. Kendrick was a hotshot prospect when he was called up to the show as a 22-year-old in 2007. While it has been a bit of a rocky road for Kendrick since, he has managed to find consistency over the past three seasons for the Phillies.
Durability has been a major strength for the 30-year-old right-hander over his career. Kendrick has made at least 25 starts, and hurled a minimum of 159 innings in four of his last five seasons. In 2014, Kendrick established career highs in starts with 32, and innings pitched, with 199. Kendrick collected 10 victories in 2014, the sixth time he posted a double-digit win total in his career.
Kendrick does a nice job keeping pitches in the strike zone, and his career 2.6 walks per 9 innings serve as proof. Over Kendrick’s last five seasons he has averaged just 2.5 walks per 9 innings. Kendrick posted a WAR of 0.4 in 2014, and has registered a positive WAR in each of the past six seasons.
Although Kendrick’s numbers have never been special, he has managed to carve out a pretty nice career in part due to his ability to deliver predictable results. His numbers the last three seasons are nearly identical. Basically, you know exactly what Kendrick is going to give you when he takes the mound, and there is a certain value to that.
Kendrick’s numbers illustrate the struggles he and the Phillies have experienced as of late. Kendrick went 10-13 with a 4.61 ERA in 2014 for Philadelphia. His strikeout rate of 5.5 per 9 innings may have crushed his 4.9 career average, but still left plenty to be desired. Kendrick has had trouble keeping the ball in the yard, as he allowed 25 home runs in 2014. His FIP this past season was not overly impressive at 4.57. Last season, his strikeout to walk ratio was just 2.12, which may be his most disturbing statistic. It would be unfair to place all of the blame on Kendrick and his right arm as the Phillies defense has played uninspired baseball for many years now, but most of these stats have little to do with the guys behind him.
With 1138.2 career innings pitched, Kendrick has more regular season experience than many of the other free agent pitchers available. However, Kendrick appeared in just one postseason game during his time in Philly. In his lone postseason appearance Kendrick was rocked by the Colorado Rockies, lasting just 3.2 innings, and allowing 5 runs on 5 hits.
Plain and simple, Kyle Kendrick does nothing special and likely will not be a big difference maker for whichever club he eventually winds up with. Although the former 7th round pick is just 30-years-old, he is unlikely to resurrect his once promising career over the next few seasons.
Kyle Kendrick would likely be open to taking a one-year deal worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $8 million dollars. The Angels are currently within $10 million of the luxury tax threshold, and signing Kendrick seems like something that is feasibly possible. Kendrick will be searching for a team he can showcase himself with in an effort to lock down a multi-year contract after 2015.
Signing Kyle Kendrick would be a mistake, and a waste of money. Kendrick would not add anything to the team, nor would he be likely to fill a spot in the rotation higher that five. Signing Kendrick would leave the club restricted financially, and perhaps stall the development of promising youngsters, Hector Santiago, and, Nick Tropeano.
Reports suggest that, Garrett Richards, is progressing nicely in his rehab from knee surgery. As it stands right now, just the final spot in the Angels’ rotation will be up for grabs next spring in the desert. I do not think Kendrick is a good fit for the Halos in 2015, nor do I think the Angels are a good fit for Kyle Kendrick at this stage of his career.